OVER the past week Scotland try hero Darcy Graham has been telling the world's media how the shorter game - at both local and international level - has made him the player he is.

And many who have also pulled on the blue jersey of Scotland before him will offer similar testimonies about seven-aside rugby.

Invented in the Borders and played in the Borders for well over a century, the allure of 'the sports' has stood the test of time.

Next weekend the all-action Borders sevens circuit will once again burst to life at Netherdale.

The famous Gala Sevens is the first spring tournament for the leading short game players in the country.

And defending champions Jed-Forest, who won a thrilling extra time final over the hosts last year, will be looking to get their hands back on the famous trophy.

But they will have to overcome fellow National One side Selkirk and the country's top collegiate team, St Andrew's University, just to reach the semi-finals.

Hosts and last-year's runners-up Gala have, perhaps, an even tougher pool with games against Edinburgh Accies and Heriot's awaiting them.

With Peebles hosting the opening round of this year's Kings of the Sevens in the autumn, Melrose are already at the top of the leader board.

And the Greenyards side will be hoping to see off the challenge from Kelso and Boroughmuir to reach the semi-final knock-out stages.

Watsonians, who last won the Gala tournament in 2017, have been the dominant force at the Borders tournaments over the past couple of years.

The capital side face Hawick and Musselburgh in the pool stages.

The pool matches of the 2019 Gala Sevens kick off at 2pm.

Throughout the day there will be plenty supporting entertainment around the ground to keep the whole family entertained.

And when it comes to food and drink there will be plenty of choice with burger stalls and a hog roast as well as a Prosecco bar and more traditional bottle and draught bars.

Running concurrently on the back pitches will be the Gala Vixens Sevens from noon.

It promises to be an exciting afternoon on all fronts and admission is only £10 for adults, £7 for concessions and £2 for secondary school pupils - with primary school children admitted free.